April 13, 2010

U of C undergrad attendance down at Big Ten Plus Career Fair

The Hire Big Ten Plus Consortium hosted its annual Spring Career Fair at the DePaul Center Friday, marking the first time in six years that the event has not been held in Ida Noyes Hall.

The Hire Big Ten Plus Consortium is a collaborative effort between career service representatives from various Midwest universities, including the Big Ten schools, the University of Chicago, DePaul University, and the University of Notre Dame.

The annual job fair has been held in Chicago since its inception, and this was the first year it was held on DePaul’s campus.

“Chicago is a central business hub and it’s also easily accessible to employers,” CAPS staff member and president of the Big Ten Consortium executive board Marthe Druska said. “We moved it to DePaul to attract more alumni [living in the area] and a more diverse group of students and employers.”

The fair has historically attracted finance and consulting firms, but this year’s fair introduced many firms offering manufacturing, educational, and government positions. Only 14 of the 58 firms at this year’s fair participated last year. “At last year’s fair, there was no variety; it was all finance and there were barely any public service firms,” third-year Roxy Ng said. There were 20 public service and government firms this year.

Although overall attendance was similar to last year’s fair, U of C attendance dropped significantly, while students from schools closer to DePaul had higher turnout, according to CAPS advisor and consortium organizer Lucy Gee. More alumni and graduate students also attended the fair, which some organizers attributed to the slumped economy.

While the DePaul fair attracted fewer U of C students, the ones who attended said they enjoyed the new location.

“I like that it was on a different campus. I thought this was just another one of CAPS’ weekly events, but it turned out that this is actually a big deal,” said Ng, who had attended the same fair the previous year.